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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 June 2005, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK
Questioning the claims we take as read

People smoking in pub
More or Less
Thursday, 30 June, 2005
BBC Radio 4, 1500 BST

This week More or Less stuck its head into an argument clouded by certainty.

What? Surely that should say "clouded by uncertainty"?

Not when it comes to the evidence on passive smoking. Few people lack absolute confidence that the figures they use describing deaths from passive smoking - or environmental tobacco smoke, as it is also known - are conclusive.

But what do the studies actually say?

It seems likely that passive smoking does increase the chance of serious heart disease. But do we know, even approximately, by how much, or how much exposure causes how much harm?

More or Less looked at the figures in the most authoritative study which are often cited in support of a ban on smoking in public places.

Missing women

Plus, the young graduate student whose inspiration and detective work challenged one of the most chilling pieces of economic deduction of the last few decades. Find out more about the mystery of the missing women.

Auction winners

And with the popularity of auctions - whether online, antique or elsewhere - we took a look at a strange piece of calculation that may mean the winners do not get quite what they bargained for.

More Or Less was broadcast on Thursday, 30 June, 2005 at 1500 BST on BBC Radio 4.

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Q&A: Passive smoking
18 Oct 04 |  Medical notes

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